Preview: Michigan Wolverines Look to Knock Down the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing

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Tomorrow afternoon the Michigan Wolverines will go on the road and take on the Michigan State Spartans. Both teams won their previous games convincingly.

No.12 Michigan (10-3) is entering the game on a two-game winning streak. On the flip side, Michigan State (11-3) is heading into tomorrow’s matchup on a six-game winning streak.

Both teams will enter East Lansing looking for a way to win in order to gain momentum and higher seeding. Currently, Michigan is in seventh place in the Big Ten Conference, while Michigan State sits in first.

Ultimately, Sunday’s game will be Michigan’s toughest battle thus far in the season. The rivalry between the Wolverines and Spartans goes back to 1909 where the teams faced off for the first time.

Currently, the Wolverines lead the all-time series 93-84 but the Spartans have won the last three meetings.

Here’s what to expect and how to watch the game:

Wolverines Game Information:

No. 12 Michigan Wolverines vs. No. 14 Michigan State Spartans

When: Sunday, January 5, at 1:30 p.m. ET

How to watch: CBS

Keys to the matchup: Michigan enters tomorrow’s game after a strong win over UMass Lowell, while Michigan State is coming off a blow out win over Illinois.

One of the keys for Michigan, who may be without Isaiah Livers due to a groin injury is crashing the boards. Michigan State is a physical team that feeds off of their defense. Michigan is also going to have to play collectively on defense and it starts with Zavier Simpson. Simpson will be tasked with guarding Cassius Winston who is averaging 17.8 points per game.

Wolverines: Back to the Basics

In addition to Simpson’s tough defensive assignment, Jon Teske needs to have another strong offensive performance.

Michigan is at their best when Simpson and Teske run the pick-and-roll which provides others open space to shoot and drive. Franz Wagner, Eli Brooks, David Dejulius and Simpson need to step up on the offensive end. Also, the Wolverines are going to need production from Austin Davis and Adrien Nunez.

Although Winston is the leading scorer for the Spartans, Michigan State has always taken pride in moving the ball. The Spartans run their offense no matter the game situation. In order to contain Michigan State’s home crowd and energy, the Wolverines need to limit their fast break opportunities.

Battle of the Coaches

Lastly, Head Coach Juwan Howard will have to win the coaching matchup against Tom Izzo. Izzo is arguably one of the greatest college coaches ever. This will be a tough task for Howard to win the coaching battle against Izzo who tried to recruit him 30 years ago prior to playing for Michigan.

Tomorrow’s game is significant for Michigan because it will be one of their toughest opponents yet. Not to mention, Michigan State is a conference rival as well. A win will help mold Michigan for March which is slowly approaching. A loss could be a blow to this team but again the poise of Howard will pay off.

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